U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s Statement on Build Back Better Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. [12/19/21]—Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.) released the following statement on Senator Joe Manchin’s reversal on the Build Back Better Act:

“‘I just can’t get there.’  I’ve heard that before when Senator Manchin killed off the Clean Electricity Plan.  He was wrong then and he’s dangerously wrong now.  Failing to pass Build Back Better condemns us to higher energy prices, fewer jobs, and a back seat to those that take action and lead on technology and innovation.  This stance is downright unpatriotic, and it utterly fails to address the climate crisis.

“The bipartisan infrastructure bill was an important initial down payment on U.S. research and development.  But anyone who thinks R&D alone will make us a leader in the 21st century economy, has a dangerously naïve vision of what is happening.  The Build Back Better Act is what would make us a leader.  The tax credits and other provisions would allow us to develop clean energy domestic markets, domestic manufacturing, domestic supply chains, and crucially, American jobs.  Our economic competitors in Europe and Asia will have no qualms about taking our research and developing their own industry and supply chains.  They will take great joy in selling us their electric cars and their green technology.  If we want to capture the emissions from our steel plants, they will be happy to sell us the equipment to do that too at a profit.  The reality is that if we fail to act, others will corner global markets for everything in a new economy, happy to see us fade into obscurity—the winner of the 20th century economy, but an afterthought in the 21st.

“We have to face reality that Manchin’s reckless posture imperils the Build Back Better agenda, but I’m not walking away. The way forward is passing serious legislation that makes a real difference in people’s lives. It’s the right thing to do and I’ll continue fighting to make it happen.”